University of Texas at El Paso
Torch Igniter

The torch igniter is an oxygen/methane ignition source for propulsion systems and combustion research. The torch igniter uses an internal swirl injection. Mixing of the propellants is controlled by the momentum of the colliding streams. Oxidizer flows down the main axial channel and meets four tangential methane inlets that form a swirl that mixes the propellants prior to ignition. The mixed stream is ignited using a small spark plug with a 16 kV source (dc converter). The system is designed to be fed from the main propellant tanks and ignite at different propellant inlet conditions (gas/liquid).

Specifications and Performance

Material: Inconel 625

Material MaximumTemperature:  1800°F

Dimension: 2 in(diameter) x 4.35 in

Ignition source: SparkPlug

Ignition Energy: 16 kV

Propellant:Oxygen/Methane (gas and liquid)

O/F: 2-5

Operational Pressure:70-120 psia

Development Status

TRL 3-5


1.    Flores,J., Sanchez, L., Dorado, V., Choudhuri, A., An Experimental Evaluation of aTorch Ignition System for Propulsion Research, 2013, 49thAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, AIAA 2013-4152.

2. Sanchez,L., Ellis, R., Dorado, V., Choudhuri, A., An Experimental Investigation of a LOX/CH4System for Propulsion Research, 2014, 50thAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, AIAA 2014-3986.